Aids Follies – A Dark Musical about the History of HIV

Approximately 0.5 % of the Berlin population is infected with HIV.  This number ranks Berlin on top of all German cities shortly followed by Hamburg. Due to effective medication nowadays you can live a long and healthy life even with an HIV infection. This has made the disease less frightening among younger generations which results in a rising number of new infections since the early 2000s.

Maybe these statistics are a good reason to take a closer look at the theater piece Aids Follies premiering today at Sophiensaele. This unusual Aids Musical takes you back to the story of Patient Zero, the first patient who was wrongly accused to have brought HIV to North America. With a collage of video documents, conspiracy theories and eclectic sound and dance performances the director Johannes Müller created a dark hybrid of different theater genres.

Aids Follies is not a light-hearted piece. The video segments and testimonies are really intense and seem to come out of a vintage X-Files episode. The musical numbers and weird laboratory performances make the whole piece a real history ride into the 80s and 90s. Between all the vintage fragments there are small glimpses into the situation of now: Statistics and facts proving that the HIV infections are rising in the last years, but also the hope for a vaccine and promising new treatments such as Prep.

Are you married? No!
Are you occupied? Oh no!

You got kids? No!
How about HIV? Oh no!

My favorite fragment was by far an enigmatic poem from the time of the Aids epidemic. Contrary to the otherwise quite brutal dissection of the history of the disease this part was truly intimate and emotional for me. In the course of the piece gender and shapes seem to not matter less. The future is to become undetectable. Is it? Find out for yourself.


May 24-27, 2018, 20h

Sophiensaele, Sophienstraße 18, 10178 Berlin-Mitte


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<a href="" target="_self">Claudio</a>